All Signs Pointed To Nina As Mole, If You Believe “24” Tales
by Ellen Gray, Philadelphia Daily News
SO NINA’S the mole. Hey, I knew that. Or at least I didn’t not know it.
By now, fierce fans of Fox’s “24” – is there another kind? – have had nearly a week to stew over the shocker in last week’s episode, in which lovelorn federal agent Nina Myers (Sarah Clarke) was revealed to be “Yelena,” an associate of evildoer Victor Drazen (Dennis Hopper) and the woman who seems to be working toward the death of her ex-lover, Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) and his teen-age daughter, Kim (Elisha Cuthbert).
(Those of you who haven’t planned your week around tomorrow night’s season finale might as well push the fast-forward button, because we’re going to be hashing out this “24” thing for awhile, I’m afraid.)
Thing is, Nina seemed like such an upstanding type: properly remorseful for her brief affair with her married-but-then-separated boss (whose wife, we now know, wasn’t exactly sitting home waiting for him), risking her own career to keep Jack safe from his superiors once he’d jumped the tracks, downright protective of his wife and daughter.
So what’s a nice girl like that doing whispering into a phone in a heavy accent, tipping off the Drazens that their assassination target, presidential candidate David Palmer (Dennis Haysbert), isn’t dead after all?
Shouldn’t we have seen this coming? Could we have?
Whatever you might think, “24’s” writers didn’t just pull Nina out of a hat, executive producer Howard Gordon insisted last week.
“We had a few people go through it meticulously, and there was actually a rational justification for every one” of the character’s apparently contradictory actions, he told reporters, offering to send us the resulting document.
An edited version arrived by e-mail Friday, and here, for the skeptical, is a summary:
- Early in the series, when Jack’s boss gives him a keycard and tells him that it belongs to the dirty agent, Nina appears to have been exonerated because she was able to show Jack that on the day she’d supposedly last used it, she and he had been together in Santa Barbara. “In fact, she altered the date on the keycard to cover her tracks,” according to the document.
- The dead shooter’s thumb (cut off by Jack in one of the show’s grislier scenes) yielded no ID because “Nina erased the record from the database.”
- While Nina was responsible for tipping Jack’s wife, Teri (Leslie Hope), that the man she was riding with wasn’t who he said he was, it’s because Nina hadn’t been told about the other plan to assassinate Palmer or the man’s involvement.
- The leader of the other plan didn’t know about Nina, either, which is why he ordered Jack to shoot her.
- When Nina helped catch Jamey, it was to deflect attention from herself.
- When Alexis Drazen was stabbed, she didn’t tell his brother because “telling the Drazens…does not further her objective, which is to ensure that Palmer is assassinated by the end of the day.”
- Though she tips the Drazens off to Kim’s location, she doesn’t kill Kim or her mother when she has the chance because her objective “is Palmer’s assassination and not the death of Jack’s family members.”
Sutherland, meanwhile, said last week that he’d first learned that Nina was the mole only about three weeks before the episode was filmed.
It didn’t have the effect on the betrayed that it did on the betrayer, he said.
“She then had to frantically go learn a Baltic dialect,” he said.
“I went, ‘Oh, that’s cool.’ ”